John Sullivan, Esq., farmer and eldest native citizen of Franklin County, was born in 1817, in what was then White County. He is the second of ten children who lived to maturity, of Edward and
Sarah (Smothers) Sullivan, natives of North Carolina, bom in 1795 and 1796 respectively. Both went to Sumner County, Tenn., when children and were there reared and married soon after he returned from the war of 1812. In 1817 they finally settled in what is now Fyanklin County. Both were respected members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The mother was one of the original twelve, and both died in 1870. Our subject, has been a farmer. In 1843 he married Martha, daughter of Matthew and Susan Ing, born in Sumner County, Tenn., in 1825. Their children are Thomas, Joseph, Stanford, Silas, Lewis, Sarah (wife of John Stull, of Williamson County) and Mary. Both joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1841. He has always lived in his native county, and since 1844 on his present farm of eighty acres. In 1846 he was made constable, and since 1849 has held the office of justice almost continuously. All his children have a good business education. Formerly a Democrat, and first voting for Van Buren, he has since the war been a Republican. He and his wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for nearly forty-six years, and led a happy wedded life for forty-three years. He was educated in the first log schoolhouse erected in the county, of the ground floor, no chimney order, located one mile and a half west of his present home, and the first teacher chosen from the best educated of the settlement. He afterward attended in abandoned log huts used for schools and churches; was licensed a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1851.; made deacon in 1863, and ordained local elder in 1882. Among the first houses in which they met was a Mr. Summer's, and from then until 1852 they were familiarly known as "Summer's Class." In 1852 a log church was erected on our subject's land, and in 1880 the log (18x24) house was replaced by a fine frame structure (30x40) near by, and on land owned by the son of our subject. Rev. L. A. Harper is their pastor, with a membership of about seventy-five.